India has more bright people than any other country but it missed the opportunity to be a leader, said FC Kohli, the first CEO of the country’s top IT company Tata Consultancy Services who is known as the father of Indian software industry.
“India is a source of people who are very bright. How come, we are not on top of the world? Is it due to politicians or bureaucrats? Perhaps it is (both) but I don’t want to get in to this. I have nothing against bureaucrats or rulers. Nearly 15 years ago, at a meeting in the US, there was a topic on India has no business to be poor. I agreed,” he said in his speech on receiving Life Time Achievement Award at the CII Connect 2018, a two-day conference and exposition on ICT.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami presented the award to Kohli for his contribution to the software industry at the event’s valedictory function on Wednesday.
India has done well in software exports but not in computerisation within the country. Computerisation in this country was limited to English speaking population, which was not more than 100 million. What happened to the rest? “Even today, I cannot converse with computers in any of the Indian languages. We have developed software, but it is not adequate. We have 700 million people who do not speak English but have some education using computers,” Kohli said.
Almost 20 per cent companies in the US in the computer field are being run by Indians. How come? Everybody to be a successful person need not be abroad. They should also be in India,” he added.
“It is time that we consider computers a necessity rather than a luxury,” he said.
Palaniswami said the State government wants to take governance to the next level by using IT for which various ICT tools have been adopted. “Chennai is the Software as a Service (SaaS) Capital of India. We propose to give a huge impetus to this sector to make Tamil Nadu a global destination,” he said.
Tamil Nadu IT minister M Manikandan said the State is likely to sign MoUs worth ₹15,000 crore in the the IT-ITeS sector in the forthcoming Global Investors Meet to be held early next year.
CII Connect 2018 chairman Krishnakumar Natarajan said that a FinTech Centre of Excellence will be set up in Chennai. The State government should also consider CoEs in new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence for use in auto and entertainment industries.
Palaniswami replied that he would consider the suggestions made in the event. Natarajan said Connect 2019 will be held in September next year.